Ann Haney: Clip-and-ship coupon saga continues

Ann Haney • Updated Feb 4, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Coupon theft has been a continuing problem with over-zealous couponers for many years. No doubt you have heard about couponers caught stealing papers from newspaper stands, out of people’s driveways, Dumpster diving and more. 

It’s not surprising that dishonest deal seekers have even found a way to steal expired coupons from the military sent overseas. 

One might ask, “What are they possibly doing with expired coupons?” This is a question to which many would like to know the answer. 

Coupon theft is not the only problem that has risen from this marketing plan for coupon producers. Most all coupons state in small print, “Coupon may be void if copied, transferred, reproduced, sold or exchanged...” What does this mean exactly? 

Obviously, couponers have found there to be a fine line in handling coupons. When we understand the reasoning behind coupon marketing, one can begin to see a clearer picture of what all this fine print means. 

First of all, coupons are produced by the manufacturer to promote the purchase of new items and items needing a nudge to increase sales. Manufacturers do not produce the same coupons for the same geographical locations. Why? Because one area may have an abundance of a product that is moving slowly while another does not. 

With that said, when it comes to sharing coupons or consumers distributing coupons outside of a specific area, it can make a major impact on the manufacturer’s budget. How? A certain discountable budget is set aside for that area and when coupons are transferred to that area the amount of discounts stores give will exceed what the manufacturer originally intended. 

So where do we draw the line in regards to coupon sharing, selling and printing? Obviously a coupon swap group would not cross these lines and would be most beneficial to consumers who would actually redeem the coupons. In regards to printing, most coupons will specifically say how many prints are allowed and this would be the rule to follow. 

Now for the big question, “What about coupon clipping service that sells the clipped coupon?” There are, indeed, services that do this and market their sell as “coupon clipping service.” It is not illegal to buy their clipping service. However, keep in mind this could be a fine line because manufacturers do distribute coupons systematically for specific areas. 

Now this brings us to a very interesting question, “Why did a woman from Rhode Island get fined for selling coupons through her clipping service online?” The simple answer is to always know from where your coupons are coming. Apparently her husband was found breaking into a distribution center where the coupons were kept and stole them. In other words, she sold stolen goods. 

It is sad to say but many misuse what is meant to be a blessing to them through a desire for greedy gain. A good rule of thumb is this. Use it like you would want your customers to if you owned the business. 

Ann Haney is a mother to six entrepreneurial-minded children, ordained minister, CEO of Aaron Publishing, founder of Ann Haney Ministries and Living In Abundance, nationwide motivational speaker, coupon specialist, empowerment coach and bestselling author of 20 published products, including her books, “Judgment Overruled,” “Exploding Into Successful Entrepreneurship,” “Single Steps In A Married World” and “Changing Your Life Through Couponing Financial Empowerment Series.” Ann Haney ministry’s vision is helping women know the root of their challenge and deliver them from the death grip it holds on their life by surfacing their inner beauty and confidence, helping young people discover their God-given purpose and pursue it with passion, helping men and women learn to use the resources available to them to overcome their circumstances and helping those recovering from life’s choices and challenges receive second chances without condemnation. Contact Ann at ann@annhaney.com to schedule a speaking engagement, individual coaching or view her website for more information at annhaney.com.

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